The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned about the large volumes of Betnovate, an over-the-counter cream used to treat skin ailments, being illegally procured from the State and sold elsewhere in the country. Demand for the product has skyrocketed on the back of an impression that its use can result in fairer skin.

Prolonged use of the product without medical supervision can lead to burning sensation, peeling of skin, and even thinning of skin, dermatologists say.

The FDA has lodged FIRs against three chemists and stockists for procuring a vast quantity of tubes of the cream without proper bills. Most of the illegally-sourced medication goes to West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

Harish Baijal, joint commissioner (vigilance), FDA, said Betnovate “is rampantly mixed with fairness creams to promise faster results. Beauty parlours, too, use it indiscriminately. There is a visible change in the complexion over the next five to six months. What consumers do not realise is that the drug contains steroids and its abuse makes them prone to skin cancer over the years”.


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